Hello, my name is Laura and I’m addicted to black rags.
When I look across my wardrobe (old banana box..) of clothes they’re mainly various shades of ink, onyx, charcoal or black with the odd splash of gaudy colour which I would’ve bought on a whim or a guilt induced effort to wear the colours I love then always passed over in favour of my dusky preferences.
It’s complicated, and I’m struggling here to think why it is. On the whole I prefer colour, much colour, all the colours. Lined up together, seeping through, spotted, batiked or patterned. My children’s clothes clash riotously and joyously, we sleep in flamingo pink sheets on teal pillowcases. Needing new towels I run my finger down the fluffy piles on display. I decide today my favourite colour is this deep cobalt blue reminiscent of hot days on a greek island, my skin speckled with white sand, eyes screwed up against the sun reflecting off the white walls. The azure sky causing an ache I vowed to remember always. Purchasing my new towel at the till gives me a visceral pleasure. I see colour wherever I look. It vibrates for me. Certain shades trigger memories, emotions.
I buy dinner plates a couple at a time when a colour catches my eye and makes the hairs on my arm stand up. So my table, when laid, resembles a mexican market stall. I sow hopeful seeds for the jewel box garden in my mind’s eye. A sea of clashing hot tones, patches of heart-singingly vivid oriental poppies bleed into sky blue delphiniums and lemon frilled hollyhocks. The magenta of my spring peonies make my toes curls with satisfaction.
So why do I always sling black on my back?
I cared a lot about clothes when I was younger – looking for tribal identity I loved dressing up and shocking but the backbone of my gothic leaning, playful, out on display, club-tastic daily parade was black.
Since I’ve mostly always had my fine figure I suspect black as the slimming background fader makes sense to my apologetic subconscious. Black clothes always sell out quicker in the larger sizes. Is that why I always turn to it? If I love colour and texture and beauty so much why doesn’t that extend to me? Do I think I don’t deserve it? Do I really want to disappear?
I written before about my very small wardrobe. Since leaving work I’ve not bought myself new clothes. In the morning I pull on what is to hand. A pair of jeans or trousers and one of my black tops. I actually have three exactly the same. I bought one and liked it so bought another two. In black, obviously.
Although I worry I seem to have no urge to decorate or adorn my own attire there’s also something very freeing about this uniform that requires no thought and gives no clue about the soul it enwraps. Instead of thinking my black preference is because I’m ashamed, sad or afraid I turn over the idea that maybe I don’t need to display allegiances or signal my tastes on my frame. That I’ll supply all the colour I need.
My language is certainly colourful.
Maybe I should celebrate and enjoy the fact I move through a vibrant technicolour world like a portly ninja. Earlier today I sat on a patch of grass outside the hospital passing some time in the sun. A couple of gawky juvenile starlings squabbled over the crust of a ham sandwich. Occasionally the sun glinted off their drab plumage refracting the glorious oil puddle swirl of vivid colour hidden in their quills.
I am a substantial starling ninja. I stroke my black top affectionately.
I wrote this inspired by the Personality Catwalk promp over on Josie’s Sleep is for the Weak writing workshop which I always read but this is the first time I’ve entered…. To read some other great posts hop over here